Clipboards. Headsets. Group texts. People trying to crash the party. People trying to be the party. When it comes to managing on-site PR for events we are often divided into two camps – those who love it, and thrive off the pressure and energy of the moment, and those who would rather do anything else.
I happen to be one of those people who loves it.
Luckily, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to don the black dress and hold the alphabetized VIP list, most recently manning the red carpet for Figure Skating in Harlem’s annual fundraiser, Skating with the Stars. CooperKatz has supported this non-profit for the past six years.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the more regular parts of my current job, like developing strategy, managing my teams, writing content and pitching media. But when I began my career in public relations 10 years ago, I quickly found myself handling on-site PR efforts for a range of events – everything from magazine launch parties and fundraising galas to massive trade shows and even an inaugural ball. For me, the thrill of coordinating red carpet photos and press briefings and helping reporters / camera crews get the interviews and information they need on-site will never get old.
What makes Skating with the Stars so great is that it’s an opportunity to support one of the many organizations in New York City that makes it a better place. For nearly 20 years, Figuring Skating in Harlem has combined the power of education with the grace and discipline of figure skating to transform the lives of underserved girls. The non-profit provides skating and education programs that promote academic success, physical health and emotional well-being.
This year’s gala honored Cicely Tyson and Meryl Davis & Charlie White, and attendees included Vera Wang, Mary Wilson, Kenneth & Maria Cuomo Cole, Tamron Hall, B Michael, Marcus Samuelsson and Tamara Tunie. That’s a great list of VIPs, but one of the biggest draws for me is seeing the girls who are part of the program interact with the figure skating greats who also attend. This year that included Michelle Kwan, Evan Lysacek, Sasha Cohen, Maia & Alex Shibutani, Ashley Wagner and Adam Rippon.
It’s amazing to think about what these girls are going to remember from this star-studded night – not to mention the impact that it will have on them in the future, as they embrace the mantra that anything is possible.
At the end of the day, it’s events like Skating with the Stars that remind me why I love event PR. Not only can you thrive off of the high-energy, the fast pace and the chance to interact in person with celebrities and journalists, but often, you’re also able to witness special moments and interactions that you could never experience on your phone or computer. It’s those moments that make me want to don the black dress and hold the alphabetized VIP list again and again.
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